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The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists Are Murdering Our Past
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The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists Are Murdering Our Past

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
For 2,500 years, since the time of Herodotus and Thucydides, historians have sought to record the truth about the past. Today, however, the discipline is suffering a potentially lethal attach from the rise to prominence of an array of French-inspired literary and social theories, each of which denies that truth and knowledge about the past are possible. These theories clai ...more
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Free Press (first published November 30th 1994)
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Lane Wilkinson
Mar 15, 2009 Lane Wilkinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: postmodernism
I am a very patient and calm person. So, it is rare for me to read a book that makes me so angry that I have to put it down every ten pages. Honestly, the theories of the lit-crit elite are so infuriating that I have to stop reading to keep my blood pressure down. So, I commend Windschuttle for directly addressing the theorists who are indirectly destroying the academy, and I further commend his attempt at a fair approach. Windschuttle does not denigrate nor does he dismiss the contributions of ...more
Dfordoom
Dec 12, 2011 Dfordoom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
In The Killing of History Keith Windschuttle takes aim at the various silly French intellectual fads that have been infesting our universities in the last few decades and that have been such a blight on our intellectual life.

The structuralists, the semioticians, the post-structuralists, the postmodernists and the rest of this motley crew of pseudo-intellectual frauds are demolished one by one. Windschuttle examines case histories of attempts by these charlatans to replace the traditional academi
...more
Brian
Jan 21, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wish I'd read this in the 90s. I would've changed careers.
DoctorM
A dismal and willfully obtuse rant about the dangers of cultural studies and critical theory by a conservative Australian historian. It's hard in the end to decide what Windschuttle's real complaint is. Is he hostile to theory as such? Is it that he just dislikes methodologies that treat history as a narrative like any other? Or does he just disagree with the results reached by historians using "postmodern" techniques? Several of the examples he cites are certainly open to serious critique as to ...more
Jim Chase
Mar 25, 2016 Jim Chase rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the past many decades, even the casual observer cannot help but to see that any activity, approach, or viewpoint that takes on (or has forced upon it) the descriptor of "traditional" is increasingly portrayed in a negative light. The arguments over traditional vs. contemporary (modernism, postmodernism, relativism) play out in almost every venue imaginable, most notably in academia, religion, and politics. Keith Windschuttle's The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists ...more
Brett Williams
Feb 11, 2015 Brett Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Totalitarian Era of Political Correctness

“The essence of history,” writes the author, “is that it once tried to tell the truth, to describe as best as possible what really happened.” Not so much anymore. Less is there a distinction between history and fiction in this, one of many fronts in the culture wars against Western Civilization. In this book we find a war of atrocities committed by the West upon itself, most notably in the US. The Australian author, Keith Windshuttle, carries us thro
...more
BC
Feb 01, 2009 BC rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun book to read, especially if you have to read some of the more 'pomo' stuff for class. Windschuttle takes aim at the culture of literary criticism and cultural studies which is now supplanting traditional history as the backbone of history departments. I found the larger premise of Windschuttle's case solid. He is at his best when he is writing about his own area of knowledge (Australian history), and a bit weak when he ventures outward.

At the end of the day, Windschuttle makes a co
...more
Eric
Feb 11, 2015 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Takes on Derrida, Foucault, etc, and their theories,which would lead to culturalism being the key to human knowledge.
Greg
Jan 31, 2008 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book by an Australian author tells the background of literary criticism theories and then proceeds to debunk many of the scholars who use them by showing examples of good scholarship. The side by side comparison of post-modernists writings next to other writings on the same subject is really devastating to the literary critics. I was pretty much thrilled to discover this storehouse of intellectual ammo.
Tom Darrow
Jul 14, 2011 Tom Darrow rated it did not like it
Dreadfully painful and dull to read. Ironically, the author is guilty of the offence on which he is writing. By producing literary criticism so dry and dense he has killed my desire to read and even think about history.
Keleigh
I ate this up when I read it in college. Now, I'm not so sure about. Isn't history all based on the perspective of whomever writes it?

At any rate, food for thought.
Allison
Sep 18, 2009 Allison rated it really liked it
Especially good is the chapter on "The return of tribalism" as well as the chapter on "history as Literature." The discussion on Foucault did not excite me.
Ethan
Jun 12, 2012 Ethan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-history
Windschuttle explains ideas well and is fun to read. He seems a bit overly opinionated at times. I'm glad to have read this book though.
Alex
The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists are Murdering Our Past by Keith Windschuttle (2000)
Jason Sylvester
Excellent read.
Steve
Feb 03, 2009 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2008
OK
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Keith Windschuttle is an Australian writer and historian.
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